Drink of the Week: Tesselaarsdal Pinot Noir

Tesselaarsdal Pinot NoirIn our March/April 2019 Travel Issue, we interview sommelier and writer Peter Weltman about his new project, Borderless Wine, which aims to highlight under-the-radar wine regions and makers and help them expand their reach and success. When we asked him for a wine rec, he jumped at the chance to spotlight the Tesselaarsdal Pinot Noir from South African winemaker Berene Sauls. The new solo label from Sauls, who has long worked with Hamilton Russell Vineyards in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, is named for her home town, a small hamlet just north of the appellation where her ancestors lived as freed slaves. “Her label encapsulates the rawness and pride of her home,” says Weltman. “She’s securing funding to plant vineyards in Tesselaarsdal and bring wine access and opportunity home for those in her village.” The Tesselaarsdal Pinot Noir is bright with “crunchy red fruit and floral levity,” says Weltman, and while the production is still relatively small (about 4,000 bottles) the wine is already receiving attention and acclaim worldwide. $46.97, winechateau.com